CAPSA joined faith, veteran and diaspora leaders in Canberra, six months since the fall of Kabul

On the eve of the six-month anniversary of the fall of Kabul, representatives and leaders from across
the faith, veteran and Afghanistan-Australian Advocacy Network communities met with Federal MPs
at Parliament House to urge the Australian Government to take #ActionforAfghanistan and do more
to provide safety for those fleeing the ongoing crisis.

Dr Tim McKenna, Advisory Group member of the Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum
(CAPSA) and Chair of the St Vincent de Paul Society Refugee Network, attended as a delegate.

“The scale and severity of the Afghan humanitarian crisis continues to worsen,” said Dr McKenna.

“The Catholic Alliance for People Seeking Asylum (CAPSA) reiterates its call on the Australian
Government to announce a special intake of at least 20,000 humanitarian visas for vulnerable
people from Afghanistan additional to our annual humanitarian intake.

“Catholic Church agencies, parishes, schools, and community groups are already assisting Afghan
refugees. We stand ready to do our part in a more ambitious, compassionate response.”

The forming of the delegation came following the Federal Government’s announcement that 15,000
places would be allocated to refugees within existing Humanitarian and Family Visa pathways over a
four-year period. In response, CAPSA has stated it was an inadequate response from the Australian
Government to create no additional places for those fleeing Afghanistan.

CAPSA remains deeply concerned about the lack of certainty and support for refugees on temporary
visas from Afghanistan already in Australia, and about the devastating impacts of prolonged family
separation for so many. “Six months after Kabul fell to the Taliban, the Australian Government has
still not provided permanent protection to refugees like me who have been living in Australia for ten
years in permanent limbo,” said Zaki Haidari, a refugee leader on a temporary visa from Afghanistan
and Leadership Coordinator at the Jesuit Refugee Service (JRS) Australia.

“Refugees on temporary visas in the community are under extreme stress because we cannot
sponsor our families, cannot plan for the future, and cannot contribute to Australia as we would
want to.”

“We have nowhere else to go. Australia is our home, but we cannot call it our permanent home.”

Six months since the fall of Kabul, CAPSA acknowledges the pain felt by many at this time. In the last
183 days, the world has witnessed ongoing violence, targeted persecution and widespread
devastation in Afghanistan at the hands of the Taliban regime.

CAPSA continues to stand alongside other Christian leaders, veterans, and the Afghanistan diaspora
in calling for an immediate additional intake of at least 20,000 resettlement places for people from
Afghanistan, permanent protection for refugees on temporary visas in Australia and expedited
family reunion pathways for families of people from Afghanistan already in Australia.

Download this media release as a PDF